Development of an Innovative Prototype Lane Departure Warning System


Jiann-Shiou Yang

March 2013

Report no. CTS 13-14



Development of various techniques such as lane departure warning (LDW) systems can improve traffic safety significantly. An LDW system should be able to detect when the driver is in danger of departing the road and then trigger an alarm to warn the driver early enough to take corrective action. This report presents the development of a new prototype LDW system. It is mainly an image-based approach to find the vehicle's lateral characteristics and then uses that information to establish an operation algorithm to determine whether a warning signal should be issued based on the status of the vehicle deviating from its heading lane. The system developed takes a mixed approach by integrating the Lucas-Kanade (L-K) optical flow and the Hough transform-based lane detection methods in its implementation. The L-K point tracking is used when the lane boundaries cannot be detected, while the lane detection technique is used when they become available. Even though both techniques are used in the system, only one method is activated at any given time because each technique has its own advantages and also disadvantages. The developed LDW system was road tested on I-35, US-53, Rice Lake Road, Martin Road, and Jean Duluth Road. Overall, the system operates correctly as expected, with a false alarm occurring only roughly 1.18% of the operation time. This report presents the system implementation together with findings. Factors that could affect the system performance are also discussed.

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